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Tuesday

Free Online Homeschool Curriculum


I wanted to share a few resources I have come across online that we use with homeschooling. My daughter enjoys them, they are educational and best of all... they are free :)



Starfall Is a great site for preschool-2nd grade. It offers a variety of different games and lessons to help kids in math and reading.


Scott Foresman
online Grammar and Writing workbooks ( my favorite find)




These are great! They are online copies of Florida Treasures Spelling/Reading textbooks.




Please share any other sites you may know of that we might like. Thanks :)

Sunday

Tangled Inspiration

I want to share a craft Aydin and I did for her new Tangled inspired bedroom. Also, as I start getting things together to do her room, I wanted to share some inspiration I've been loving online.



Tangled Shadow Boxes
This was a fun and simple craft. We gathered a handful of random lost toys from around the house and put them together in these Tangled shadow boxes.
Inspiration
The artist who did all the art for the Movie Tangled is named Claire Keane. I love her work. It is so whimsical, with soft colors and so detailed.
I really want to find a way to tie these into the room.

I am thinking of framing this picture for next to the bed
I would love to do a mural similar to this on her wall
These collages are of other details that I have come across online that I love. I can't wait, watercolor, lanterns, sheer fabrics, whimsical banners, flowers, birds. So so fun :)
You can click these images to see larger versions.
Here are some links from the insperation collages
Fabric banner

Wednesday

Silhouettes

I am so in love with my current project ;) After years of drooling over silhouette projects online, I finally made my own.


I'm not sure what has held me back, I think maybe I assumed it would be too time consuming or that it would be expensive. Thankfully neither is true. This was such a simple, fun, and very affordable project.

The Pets


There are a lot of tutorials online on how to make silouettes. There are also numerous people who will charge way too much to make it for you. After looking around online, I thought printing pictures off my coumputer to then trace over black paper and cut out would be the easiest way.

But then, while messing around in picasa, I realized I could just trace the picture off the computer screen by holding white computer paper up to it. So simple.


-After tracing the picture onto white computer paper, I then held black paper under as I cut out the picture. Some of the detailed areas were tricky, but for the most part, this was a really easy, fast process.



My daughter



-I zoomed in on some images and used a few sheets of paper to get larger images.

-I went through my pictures to find some that would work as silohettes. I found this image of my daughter giving an apple to snow white.
I adore how the silhouette turned out. Did you notice how I added an arm in it? ;)

I also got my husband and daughter to pose for some new shots. I think they enjoyed it more than I did :)
They turned out cute!

(Sorry the pictures quality isn't that clear)
If you have ever met my child, then I'm sure you know how well that last image captures her personality!


I had a handful of random frames the were not being used, so I painted them black. I also spent about $7 on five black frames from the thrift store. I attached the silhouettes to white scrapbook paper and framed them.




Not sure if it's just me, but I layed out the frames and rearranged them about 1000 times before I finally liked my arrangement.
This was such an easy, quick project. I still have to add one more silhouette, but I am loving it so far.


Friday

Lets Force Mattel to Make Bald Barbies


Sounds like a good idea, right? Not to me.

I have seen a bunch of posts going around facebook encouraging people to harass Mattel into making bald barbies for children with cancer and to donate the proceeds to St Judes.

I appreciate the idea and the enthusiasm people have for raising awareness of pediatric cancer. However, in my opinion, these people being so aggressive and hateful towards Mattel just create a negative awareness of the pediatric cancer community.


I have always loved this quote by Gandhi: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Doesn't that make more sense than "Force Mattel to make all the changes for you"?

I know what medical research can do. I understand how vital it is in the fight against childhood cancer. My daughter is alive because of years of cancer research leading up to her diagnosis 6 years ago.

I am not saying they shouldn't promote funds going towards cancer research. I am saying this might not be the way to do it.

In the years that I have been in the pediatric cancer community, I have seen similar issues such as:
  • people demanding Disney come up with a bald princess.
  • people encouraging others to flood Oprah with requests for a show about pediatric Cancer.
  • people trying to stop the production of toddlers and tiaras and instead force TLC to make a show focused on children with cancer

It's easy to copy and paste someone else's status and threaten your friends that if they don't repost, they are not true friends. But really, what are you accomplishing?

One facebook page promoting the idea of harassing Mattel has over 100,000 fans. If you visit the facebook for Mattel, you will notice that their page is flooded with insults, threats to boycott, and attacks on the company for not caring enough for sick children. What exactly do any of these negative posts do to help sick kids?

If every single one of those people complaining donated just a dollar to a cause such as curesearch, think of all the money they would raise.

Even better, if all these people bullying Mattel got together and tried, they could come up with a bald barbie on their own.

Making a bald barbie would be a fun, simple project. And it would probably only run $3-5 to upcycle each barbie. The doll would mean a lot more, as it would come from a place of love and not from a place of intimidation.

How could they make one?
  • Get donations of gently used barbies from their 100,000 followers. Remove their hair, patch the holes and paint the scalp skin tone.
  • Make a website promoting the idea and put up a paypal link on the page for people to donate money for shipping and craft materials.
  • Send out the barbies free of charge to sick kids

Too much work? Fine, but then you really don't have any room to call out Mattel for not caring enough.

Clothespins color matching

This is a great project for ages 2-6


I made this fun little project for Aydin. We picked up some paint samples glued them to poster board and glued the matching pieces to clothespins.
This is a great game for practicing small motor skills and mastering color matching.
Also, its hard to see in the pics, but the left side is light colors and right side the darker.

-A great extension would be having the child match light shades to the dark ones.
-Another extension could be having the clothespins be all white, each one having the name of a color written on it. The child could then match the word to the color

Monday

6 years of laughing

When you realize how perfect everything is you will throw your head back and laugh at the sky.- Buddha

If only you could hear the giggle that comes with these smiles.

















Wednesday

Aydilane's room

here are so updated pictures of Aydin's new room




Thursday

Boobie Beanies!



I wanted to share my friend's etsy shop
She makes these hats for babies to wear while nursing. I thought my breastfeeding activist moms would love to see these!
From her site:
"This is a completely hand-made by me, crocheted infant hat made to look like a breast when worn by a baby/toddler/child, while nursing! It's made of 100% organic cotton, and is very soft and warm. You have the option of a pink nipple or a brown one and I can also make it in a different skin tone, or size, if you'd like."
You can buy them here
http://www.etsy.com/listing/51599072/boobie-beanie

or add her on facebook to help promote her site
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Boobie-Beanie/127164803997068?v=info&ref=ts

Tuesday

Three part lessons

A main approach to teaching in the Montessori classroom is the 3 part lesson. It is amazing for teaching new concepts and names of objects such as colors, numbers, phonetic sounds, shapes, animals, plants, opposites ect. This is a positive way to teach your child. It is self correcting and the approach gives the child a clear understanding of the material taught.

To start a three part lesson choose two items you will be teaching. for the example, I'll use colors.
Get a piece of red paper and a piece of yellow.
Step one: "This is": Point to the red paper and tell the child "This is red." next point to the yellow and say "This is yellow".
Step two:"Show me": Ask the child "Can you show me red?" If they point to it correctly, move on to yellow. if they do not point to red, repeat "Can you show me red?" while pointing yourself at the red paper and getting them to follow. Next ask the child to show you yellow and repeat as needed.
Step three: : "What is": In this step, you point to the red and ask the child "What is this?" In this step, if they say it correctly or not, still move on to the pointing to the yellow and asking what it is. If the child has grasped the concept and said the correct name, then you are ready to present the lesson again and can now add a third item. If they did not successfully name the colors, you can try the presentation again later.

Notice that throughout the lesson there is not the use of "no" or 'wrong" ect. this is important, in my opinion to help keep the activity positive for the child. If they have positive experiences in lessons, they are more likely to want to try again and learn more.
This is such a simple approach to teaching items and you can start with this as soon as your child can talk. It's so easy for children to pick up new knowledge the first few years of life, as they are little sponges wanting to absorb everything. This presentation doesnt over stimulate or offer too much at once. It helps them focus on a few objects at a time and the repetitiveness helps them grasp the concept.

I have used this activity to teach Aydin her numbers, letter sounds, colors, shapes, animals, sight words and more

Monday

A bit of joy

Well I am starting to get a few minutes to post on here. Between starting homeschooling with my 5 year old, losing my computer and having pneumonia I've been offline for a bit. So I thought I'd share a few pics I've found online that bring me joy


burlap and ribbon.... two of my favorite things!love the basket with plants in it... the vintage stove and the tiny bit of writing of a quote they show on the opposite wall.


love this
so fun! pink& black. And I love the simplicity of this room. The cupcake pics above the closet are so simple, yet pretty. love it.

yum.

so very cozy